Development Status and Prospect of Ferroalloy Industry Chain and Iron and Steel Industry

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The iron and steel industry is composed of diversified systems, of which ferroalloys are an important branch. The output, price and market sales of the ferroalloy industry are closely related to the development of the iron and steel industry. This article will discuss the relationship between ferroalloys and the iron and steel industry in terms of ferroalloy production and its inherent development trends.

Classification and Application of Ferroalloys

The varieties of ferroalloys are developed and developed according to the development needs of the steel and new metal material industries. The current varieties of ferroalloys are divided into binary and multicomponent ferroalloys. Among them, the most used binary iron alloys are ferrosilicon, ferromanganese, ferrochromium, ferrotungsten, ferromolybdenum, ferroboron, and ferroaluminum. The common ternary iron alloys are manganese silicon, silicon calcium, silicon chromium, rare earth ferrosilicon, etc.

Ferro silicon
Ferro silicon
high carbon ferro manganese
High carbon ferro manganese

Ferroalloys have two major uses, namely deoxidizers and alloying agents. When making steel and producing various new metal materials, oxygen oxidation is required to remove impurities in steel and molten metal. At the same time, oxygen is also absorbed in the steel and molten metal. This greatly degrades the properties of steel and metal materials. Therefore, it is necessary to add some with strong oxygen binding ability, and its oxides can be smoothly removed from the steel and metal material liquid. This process is called deoxidation of steel and metal materials.

Adding various iron alloys to carbon steel to adjust its chemical composition can produce various alloy steels and new metal materials. Iron alloys, except that silicon calcium can only be used as a deoxidizer, the rest of the iron alloys can be used as alloying agents.

Basic Overview of the Ferroalloy Industry

Application of Ferroalloys in Iron and Steel Industry
Application of Ferroalloys in Iron and Steel Industry

Ferroalloy is one of the important pillar industries for the development of China’s steel industry. The structural adjustment and industrial development of the steel industry cannot be separated from the progress and development of the ferroalloy industry. The growth of China’s steel industry also creates conditions for the vigorous development of the ferroalloy industry. In recent years, the industrial structure and production pattern of China’s ferroalloy industry have been further optimized, the situation of low industrial concentration and poor equipment level has been improved, and the level of production technology and craftsmanship has been improved.

China is The World’s Largest Steel Producer and Consumer

In terms of output, China is the world’s largest steel producer. In 2020, China’s pig iron and crude steel production will reach 887.5 million tons and 1,064.8 million tons, respectively, accounting for more than half of the world’s pig iron and crude steel production.

Distribution of Global Pig Iron Production
Distribution of Global Pig Iron Production

In terms of consumption, China is also the world’s largest steel consumer. In 2020, China’s apparent steel consumption (finished steel) was 995 million tons, accounting for 56% of the global apparent steel consumption (finished steel). India and the United States ranked second and third in the world in terms of apparent steel consumption. In 2020, the global apparent steel consumption was 88.5 million tons and 80.5 million tons, respectively, accounting for 5% of the global apparent steel consumption.

Distribution of global crude steel production
Distribution of global crude steel production

Summary and Outlook

The development trend of the world’s steel is toward the direction of high-purity and high-cleanness steel with excellent physical properties. This trend is largely the result of the development of new processes in steelmaking, casting and steel processing. Ferroalloys play an important role in every step of the steel production process. The structural optimization of the iron and steel industry will inevitably put forward more stringent requirements on the quality of ferroalloys.

The ferroalloy industry must not only meet the quantitative requirements of the iron and steel industry, but also constantly carry out innovations in production technology and processes. Ferroalloy enterprises must constantly develop new products in order to meet the development needs of the iron and steel industry.

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